Let’s Start With the Expendables And Work Backwards From There.

As a father, I want only the best for my son. For myself, the bar is set significantly lower.

For the little man, fresh produce, no sugar, everything organic. For papa, greasy pizza, gallons of coffee, and whatever ice cream’s on sale. For the little man, hip colorful books – counting and alphabet included, but not exclusive. For papa, books with swords and space explosions and Dark Jedi. For the man, Sesame Street, tasteful quirky British cartoons, and train videos. For papa, The Expendables.

What I love about The Expendables – and I do mean love, not simply appreciate – isn’t the explosions, or the chase scenes (though I do greatly enjoy them) nor even the exquisitely detailed set dressing. No, what I love about The Expendables is that it has absolutely no pretensions to be anything other than exactly what it is.

Why am I talking about The Expendables?

No, I’m asking you.

Oh. Rocky IV. Yeah. No, here – I was thinking about the fall of the USSR, and how Rocky’s sound vanquishing of Dolph Lundgren’s SuperComrade to the cheers of a Russian crowd begrudgingly won over ended up being an inappropriately apt metaphor for Capitalism’s fisco-political five-knuckle-shuffle over Soviet Communism.

And then it occurred to me that without Rocky IV my current guiltiest of pleasures would never have come to be. An I’d be reduced to watching Big Trouble In Little China over and over again on those infrequent occasions when I get to drink beer in my brother’s basement.

But why was I thinking about the fall of the Soviet Union? This has some connection to fatherhood, somewhere I swear.

Preschool! It all comes back to preschool! Here, watch – fall of the USSR. Once, they had no money. But now, MONEY! This sudden influence  of “opportunity” instead of making it all better just mashed it all up worse than a three-year-old’s play doh collection. Before there was corruption but some semblance of order, now you’ve got the mafia running the country, the president-for-life stealing superbowl rings and judo chopping tigers, and anybody who protests is shot, irradiated, or thrown in prison. A not-dissimilar situation as when you have 2 parents who devote all their time to child rearing (with occasional breaks for dishes or jobs) sending their kid to preschool for the first time.

Before, there was no time. But now, TIME! An eternity of time! 3 hours a day, 3 days a week! You have no idea what this means. Three hours. Booked. Locked in. On the calender. Not happening by accident, you’re not wondering when it will end. The ramifications are tectonic. Rome could be built and felled by a new parent with that kind of time.

Of course, this doesn’t happen. You kind of sit and stare for a while. You become crippled by the potential, no idea in what what order to take on the many volumes of your to-do list.

And mamas and papas have different ideas of how the time should be used. And this can cause friction. Spats and grudges and separate computers watching separate shows sitting in sullen separation.

But then, it’s resolved. Because there’s time. For 3 years, anytime we were awake and alone had to be spent in rapid fire debriefing of the day’s vital info, or hashing out next week’s menu family events, or strategizing the next developmental hurdles.

But now there’s time. Time to hold hands and not say anything. Time to not only fight, but make up. After 3 years of being partners in the trenches, we’re actually like a couple again.

Kinda like Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham.

Well, not anything at all like Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham. I don’t use nearly enough beard dye to be like Sylvester Stallone.

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